Emily Collard / For The Lantern
As one of only 35 stores in North America to receive the highly-anticipated Versace for H&M collection, the Easton Town Center Hennes & Mauritz AB is preparing for an early Saturday as customers are expected to begin standing in line well before the store’s 8 a.m. opening.
The stores will sell the product and Easton’s H&M is the only store in Ohio that will release the product Saturday. The Swedish fashion chain, H&M, launched the collection, which will be available in almost 300 stores in 40 countries, in Europe Thursday.
The Easton H&M will open at 8 a.m., but the company expects to draw a line hours before. The collection will be centralized in one area of the store and customers in line will be given a colored bracelet to designate the specific 15-minute time period they will be allowed to shop the area.
Customers will not be permitted to buy more than two of each piece. One store employee said she expects the merchandise to be sold-out by noon on Saturday.
“I plan on being there as soon as I have at least four or five cups of coffee in my system,” said Jillian Dowis, a fourth-year art major. “I’ve had my eye on the dress worn by Nicki Minaj at the Versace H&M launch party.”
The collection, which includes women’s wear, men’s wear and limited home goods, ranges from $17.95 to $399. Versace designed the collection by reinterpreting classic Versace pieces from past seasons.
Inspired by Versace’s most memorable creations, the collection is full of bright, graphic prints from a tropical-scene-meets-animal print dress and leggings, to a disturbed zebra stripe men’s pant and button down.
Women’s wear includes baby doll and shift dresses, patterned jeans, fringed skirts and structured leather jackets. The “Bottoni Oro” set is comprised of five simple silk dresses with gold detailing, while the “Frange” and “Metal Mesh” sets are more in-line with the daring look Gianni Versace was known for. Women’s accessories include studded purses, cocktail rings, scarves, belts and shoes.
Men’s wear includes tailored blazers (one of which completes a neon pink suit with matching shoes), fitted button-downs, studded leather coats and pants, T-shirts and fitted skull and wide-brimmed hats. A pair of $69.95 men’s pants with a graphical alligator print completes the tropical set entitled “Stampa.”
“I am thrilled to be collaborating with H&M and to have the opportunity of reaching their wide audience,” Donatella Versace, Versace creative director, said in an H&M press release. “The collection will be quintessential Versace, perfect for H&M and Versace fans everywhere.”
H&M has previously partnered with big names Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Jimmy Choo and (most recently) Lanvin. Target Corp. recently caused similar commotion with a Missoni knitwear partnership that crashed the website due to heavy demand the day of the launch. While this collection will not be available online, a Versace for H&M pre-spring collection will be available on the H&M website starting Jan. 19.
“(The partnership) changes the idea of ‘luxury’ by making it more accessible for those who take pride in their fashion statements,” Dowis said. “Now that these styles are more affordable, I hope to see a lot more cutting edge looks on the Oval. Still waiting to see someone rocking a pair of Lady Gaga two-foot heels walking to class.”
Versace said despite the economy, people should invest in new clothes.
“The economy is down and people are going to invest in things they can wear over and over again,” Versace said. “Nothing can be more wrong than that. Fashion stands for new, glamorous, daring and sophistication.”
The collection debuted in a catwalk fashion show Nov. 8 at Pier 57 in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. The star-studded event boasted after-party performances by Nicki Minaj and Prince.